Duff_Man

MB Stadium Going to a Cashless Model

49 posts in this topic

I am 100% in favor of this.

 

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AJC EXCLUSIVE 

1 hour ago
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You’ll no longer be able to use cash to buy a hot dog or a beer at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The downtown Atlanta venue will become a cashless operation, one of the first two major U.S. stadiums to do so. 

 

It will stop accepting cash inside the gates beginning with Atlanta United’s home opener Sunday, requiring payment for food, beverages and merchandise with credit cards, debit cards or mobile payment services such as Apple Pay. The policy also will be in effect at Falcons games and, at least for food and beverages, all other stadium events. 

The move to cashless is intended to speed transactions and shorten waits at concession stands and merchandise shops, said Steve Cannon, CEO of Falcons and Atlanta United parent company AMB Group, which operates the stadium. 

 

Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays became the first major U.S. sports franchise to announce its stadium would be cash-free, saying in January that Tropicana Field no longer would accept cash and debuting the concept at a fan festival last month. But because the soccer season opens before the baseball season, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be first to implement a cash-free operation at games. 

For fans without credit or debit cards, 10 kiosks will be installed, some on each level of the stadium, where cash can be loaded onto prepaid Visa debit cards. Those cards then can be used for purchases inside the stadium. Balances left on the cards also can be spent anywhere Visa is accepted. 

 

With the move away from cash, stadium officials said they are dropping their previous policy of whole-dollar pricing at concession stands. They announced that prices will be reduced on five concession items by 50 cents apiece, including hot dogs from $2 to $1.50 and pretzel bites from $5 to $4.50. 

 
The original pricing menu when Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in 2017.
The hot dog price, in particular, has drawn much attention since the stadium opened, most recently at Super Bowl LIII. Further lowering the price of “our No. 1-selling item that already is below market price” reaffirms a commitment to fan-friendly concession pricing, said Greg Beadles, chief operating officer of AMB Sports and Entertainment. 
 

However, under the stadium’s previous whole-dollar policy, which was instituted to speed transaction times, sales tax was included in the posted price of each item. Now, sales tax of 8.9 percent will be added to each purchase. That will gobble up some of the savings from the new price cuts and will effectively mean an 8.9-percent increase in the total cost of items that keep the same posted price as before. 

“We’re going to revert to what everybody else does in the world and the price on the board is pre-tax,” Beadles said. “And then the tax will be added to your transaction.” 

The switch to cashless transactions applies inside the stadium; for events that sell tickets at the box office outside the gates, cash can still be used there. 

Inside the stadium, the only exception to the cashless model could be souvenir sales for some events other than Falcons and Atlanta United games. The organizers of “third-party” events, such as concerts or college football games, will be able to sell their merchandise for cash if they choose. But the stadium’s food and beverage sales will be cashless at all events, whether the purchase is made from concession stands, bars, restaurants or hawkers. 

The change follows extensive testing last year, Cannon said. By the end of the Falcons season, about 30 of the stadium’s 70 concession stands and bars did not accept cash, he said. 

Stadium-wide, the percentage of customers using cash dropped from 42 percent at the start of the Falcons season to 30 percent at the end, Beadles said. Cash usage has been lower at Atlanta United games than Falcons games, he said. 

“Everything we saw in 2018 gave us the confidence to make the decision … to become a cash-free stadium,” Cannon said. “For us, this is all about speed of service. ... This move to cashless will allow us to transact at a higher level and satisfy demand when demand is there.” 

Beadles said that on average cashless transactions “can be up to 50 percent faster than cash transactions.” 

As for how attendees, particularly those who still prefer cash, will react to the change, Cannon said: “We don’t expect a whole lot of pushback.” 

In addition to speeding up service, Cannon said going cash-free will eliminate some costs and complexities, such as counting the cash in each drawer and having a guard accompany the movement of cash into a secure room. “Cash handling is a substantial cost item that we’ll now completely remove from the enterprise,” Cannon said. 

He predicted Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be at the start of a trend toward cashless stadiums.  Several European soccer stadiums are cash-free.

“Our concessionaire, Levy, says this is where it’s going,” Cannon said.

 

 

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IDK about quicker. Ideally, yes, but sometimes when I'm behind someone trying to pay using a phone app, it takes longer.

One time I gave a guy a couple of dollars since he held up the line so long trying to get his app to work.

hotlanta and Flying Falcon like this

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57 minutes ago, rounz said:

IDK about quicker. Ideally, yes, but sometimes when I'm behind someone trying to pay using a phone app, it takes longer.

One time I gave a guy a couple of dollars since he held up the line so long trying to get his app to work.

Nah. I pay with my phone all the time and it's seconds.

poutlipper likes this

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7 minutes ago, octoslash said:

Who the hlll carries cash anyway these days?

This is where I am at. I tell it to the beggars around town all the time. "It's 2019...cash is not a thing any more."

poutlipper, papachaz and octoslash like this

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Just now, FalconFanSince1969 said:

Old people still write checks.... Seriously. 

I know...sometimes in the Publix checkout line I want to scream.   (And I'm almost 56)

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Credit cards for a $2 purchase. George Carlin had a nice little bit about that... :lol:

*Language Warning*

11 hours ago, VTCrunkler said:

the credit card companies are behind this

Bingo. They not getting that per swipe % by people using cash. Maybe Blank recently purchased an interest in a card reading machine company?

ant.accurate and VTCrunkler like this

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12 hours ago, Jesus said:

Nah. I pay with my phone all the time and it's seconds.

Oh yeah, I know.

It may rarely happen, but it is a possibility.

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3 hours ago, VTCrunkler said:

carlin was great

would make sense-  gotta finance that yacht somehow...

Love him, still my favorite comedian all-time.

And doesn’t it? By going cashless, he could be making a set percentage off of every time a card is swiped on top of those vendors already leasing their locations in the stadium. He’d be double and triple dipping.

I already don’t buy concessions at our games but if we ever switched to a cashless model, it’d probably do it for me. I usually eat before leaving then pick up something to eat on the way home. It’s cheaper especially since our prices are through the roof.

Like I will never understand people that will pay $9 for a 12 ounce beer at a game. That’s just borderline criminal. :lol:

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Terrible idea. Why should I use a card that has access to bank accounts for the purchase of stadium food? You only have to have your card skimmed one time at a fast food place to see the folly of handing your debit card to someone just for cheap food purchases.

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10 hours ago, Iron Saint said:

Credit cards for a $2 purchase. George Carlin had a nice little bit about that... :lol:

*Language Warning*

Bingo. They not getting that per swipe % by people using cash. Maybe Blank recently purchased an interest in a card reading machine company?

You mean as opposed to the $3-7 fee to get cash out in a stadium ATM?

poutlipper and Ezekiel 25:17 like this

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6 hours ago, ant.accurate said:

Terrible idea. Why should I use a card that has access to bank accounts for the purchase of stadium food? You only have to have your card skimmed one time at a fast food place to see the folly of handing your debit card to someone just for cheap food purchases.

Tap to pay on your phone creates an alternate card number to avoid your information getting swiped. It's a one-time number each transaction.

Tiny Black Dog likes this

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8 minutes ago, Ezekiel 25:17 said:

What will Taints fans do!!!? I am sure their credit isn’t even good enough to put their money in the pre paid Machine! :lol:

Start bringing pre-paid Visa gift cards to the game...multiples if you're going to drink alot of beer.

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